Procurement strategy, procurement policy
The principles of procurement

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The Swiss Federal Act and Ordinance on Public Procurement (BöB/VöB) form the basis of Swiss Post’s purchasing policy.

On the basis of strategic guidelines, the Swiss Post procurement organization (POSP) is responsible for all Swiss Post procurement volumes. POSP develops the relevant processes, structures, and competencies and ensures group-wide cost and performance transparency based on legal and commercial conditions.

Swiss Post procurement strategy

Background

The Swiss Post procurement organization (BOP) is responsible for all procurement volumes of the different Swiss Post units, totalling approximately CHF 2.7 billion. The units themselves are responsible for all technical and financial matters. By means of effectively practicable procurement requirements coordinated with the units, it is our aim to acquire the goods, solutions and services required by the consumers at the best possible value for money on the market. Many of Swiss Post's procurement markets are in a state of major upheaval. Furthermore, compliance with the increasing regulatory and legal framework conditions as well as with the social and environmental standards throughout the supply chain is a key aspect of our business.

Mandate and goals

Swiss Post procurement is now, more than ever, required to help achieve Swiss Post’s EBIT objectives by means of successful procurement processes. The constant changes and challenges within procurement require gains in effectiveness (procurement success) and efficiency while ensuring compliance, sustainability and innovation.

Success factors

Our success is closely linked to our early involvement in the different units’ procurement projects. Procurement endeavours to assume the role of a valuable innovation scout with regard to the units. We have a decisive insight into the innovations, modified supply chains and shifts within the value chains in Swiss Post's procurement markets. It is our active intention to pass the corresponding knowledge on to the units as tangible optimization proposals in the form of new business models and forms of collaboration and to implement these together.

To this end, a key success factor lies in the management of the necessary changes to be made, including the development of relevant competence profiles, the creation of an explorative learning culture and the intensification of the networking process between the clusters and categories (product groups).

Strategic thrusts

The BOP pursues the following strategic thrusts for the period:

  • Optimization of vertical integration / capital commitment, cooperation
  • Optimization of specifications
  • Implementation of e-solutions
  • Optimization of calls for tender and negotiations
  • Orientation of BOP towards responsible procurement

Strategic measures

The BOP is pursuing the following strategic measures for the period:

  • Introduction of a consistent procurement platform
  • Introduction of contract management systems across all categories
  • Introduction and establishment of cross-functional teams across all categories
  • Corporate responsibility (CR) performance of all strategic suppliers until 2020 measured by EcoVadis
  • Development of compliance monitoring as a BOP management tool
  • Positioning of the procurement organization employees as innovation scouts
  • Extension of the competence profiles and embedding them in the new BOP organizational structure

Procurement policy

Mission

On the basis of strategic guidelines, the Swiss Post procurement organization (POSP) is responsible for all procurement volumes of Swiss Post business units. The units are responsible for the associated technical and financial aspects. BOP develops the appropriate processes, structures and skills, and ensures transparency of costs and services across the Group on the basis of legal and commercial conditions.
The aim of BOP’s corporate approach is to actively exploit the Group’s potential in procurement-related matters. Requirements are coordinated and consolidated at a top level. Procurement processes are optimized, and information on procurement markets, suppliers, activities and methods is made available and exchanged at a corporate level.

Procurement management

BOP is the top-level service unit for corporate procurement, both internally and externally. It consists of a central procurement organization and non-central procurement organizations. Procurement responsibilities are structured in line with the corporate product group key. Procurement processes are designed to meet internal customer requirements and also the requirements of the specific business.
BOP actively influences the use of standardized procurement systems (SAP philosophy) and supplementary management tools. It is involved in all procurement system issues, thus ensuring end-to-end transparency.

Supplier management

BOP expects its suppliers to be innovative and prepared to be actively involved in Swiss Post’s performance and ongoing improvements.
Goods and services are procured with a focus on cost-effectiveness and security of supply throughout the entire value chain and product lifetime.
Suppliers are selected and evaluated based on quality, price, product/service and delivery date. Risk, innovation and performance potential, environmental aspects and also an ability to connect electronically are additionally taken into account. The Swiss Post Code of Ethics and Social Responsibility must be observed.

Requirements

Technical requirements must be specified in a non-proprietary manner. Alternative proposals and innovative solutions are welcome. The Group also strives to enter into long-term partnerships where strategically important products are concerned. Proposals are evaluated in line with criteria that can be objectively assessed.

Awarding contracts

The most cost-effective proposal will be awarded the contract. In the case of largely standardized goods, the lowest price may also be chosen as the sole criterion for awarding contracts.

Tender procedures

The federal agency responsible for procurement distinguishes between four different types of tender procedure.

Above the established threshold value

Above the established threshold value, the contracting party can decide to conduct a public or a selective invitation to tender. For both procedures, the planned contract must be published on the information system for public procurement in Switzerland (simap.ch). In certain exceptional cases, the order can be assigned on a discretionary basis.

 

  • Public invitation to tender:
    Public invitations are published in the Swiss Commercial Gazette. Interested suppliers may submit an offer within 40 days.
  • Selective invitation to tender:
    Public invitations are published in the Swiss Commercial Gazette. All interested suppliers may submit a request to take part in the tender within 25 days. The contracting party decides which suppliers may submit an offer on the basis of suitability. They are invited to submit a bid within 40 days.
  • Discretionary procedure:
    The contracting party awards a contract directly and without invitation to a supplier as long as the legal requirements are fulfilled. There is also no obligation to put contracts out to tender in areas where Swiss Post competes with other providers who are also not required to put contracts out to tender.

 

Below the threshold value

Below the threshold value or if a contract is not subject to the law for other reasons (for instance, the service being purchased is not subject to the law; other procurements), the contracting party may also choose either the public or the selective invitation to tender. In these cases, a planned contract is also published in the Swiss Commercial Gazette, as with contracts above the threshold value, but here there is no possibility of contesting the contract. However, the contracting party may conduct an invitation procedure or award a contract on a discretionary basis, provided the necessary conditions have been met.

  • Invitation to tender procedure:
    The contracting party determines which suppliers they want to invite directly to submit an offer without an open invitation. It acquires at least three offers, where possible.
  • Discretionary procedure:
    The contracting party can award a contract to a supplier directly without a public invitation to tender as long as the laws and ordinances pertaining to public procurement explicitly grant this discretionary right, e.g. if the value of a delivery or service contract is lower than CHF 150,000. Even if the conditions for discretionary award of a contract are fulfilled, the contracting party should accept other bids to establish a competitive basis.